A proverb that aptly describes the early days of most small businesses is the African proverb, which says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Though new owners delight in rapid growth when they start their business, in order to sustain their business in the long run, they are aware they need to build on to their team. To begin with, the work load is easier to manage for a business owner, but as projects and tasks build up, extra help is needed and family members are usually the first to be recruited as employees.
Family-run businesses are popular in the United States (they make up for 60 percent of the gross domestic product). They keep capital safe in family structures and family members tend to be eager about working for their relatives. Say you have a family member who is knowledgeable about marketing strategies for small businesses; it would be smart to utilize their ideas to help your business grow.
There are some downsides to the structure of family businesses though. Family members may not be qualified to handle certain tasks, such as bookkeeping for small businesses. Bookkeeping requires one to be numbers-driven, exact, and perhaps even removed from emotions. If a family member handling this task is too driven by emotions (such as trying to make a family member proud), they may falter and mess some things up. It may be smart to consider bringing in outsourced accounting services to help with creating a uniform, impartial bookkeeping process.
Here are some more tips that can help your family business be successful:
1. Create job descriptions.
When hiring a new employee, a business usually has a clear set of responsibilities and tasks for them. Just as you would have a list of expectations for outsourced accounting services you are working with, you should make sure that there is a clear and concise job description for every role in your business. That way you don’t assign your family member to a bookkeeping job if they have no background in or don’t know what bookkeeping for small businesses involves. If every role in your business is explicitly explained, you are able to evaluate every one’s performance.
2. Set appropriate wages.
Don’t over or underpay family members solely on the basis that they are your family member. Instead, research how much workers are making at other firms and then apply that information to the wages you set. Reviewing pay levels is actually one of the most successful marketing strategies for small businesses.
3. Hold regular staff meetings.
It is important for the delegation of tasks, checking in on current projects, and overall communication within a business to hold staff meetings. Even if you see your family members that you work with every day, a brief daily or weekly staff meeting will keep everyone on task and the business staying on top of the work needed to be done.
4. Set a few ground rules.
Setting some ground rules for your business helps upkeep structure, informs everyone about company procedures, and helps people understand and resolve conflict.
5. The blurring of the line between personal and business realms in a family business.
This doesn’t have to be a negative point. Family goals at work can prove to be useful for when you need to increase energy and motivation among your employees.
Keeping the tips above in mind, don’t forget that you can turn to outside consultants, such as outsourced accounting services, which can provide unbiased business remarks and advice that may be difficult for family members to do.